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Twisting Bridge Serves as Art Gallery

Friday, October 4, 2019

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Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group has recently completed a twisting bridge that doubles as a museum within the Kistefos Museum and Sculpture Park in Jevnaker, Norway.

Dubbed, “The Twist,” and described by Ingels as “an inhabitable bridge,” the 10,700-square-foot art museum spans across the Randselva river. In addition to BIG, New Atlas reports that Element Arkitekter, AKT II, Rambøll, Bladt Industries, Max Fordham and Davis Langdon were also involved in creating the final project.

History and Design

Founded in 1996 by Christen Sveaas, Kistefos sits on what was once Sveaas’s wood pulp business. Today, the park is made up of various exhibition galleries, an industrial museum and sculpture park.

According to reports, BIG first proposed the architecture-infrastructure-sculpture hybrid project in 2011. However, the firm didn’t reveal designs for The Twist until after winning a competition held by Sveaas in 2015, inviting designs for a new contemporary art museum that would create a “must-see cultural destination.”

Twisting 90 degrees near its center, the exterior of the structure is wrapped in 40-centimeter-wide (roughly 16-inch-wide) strips of raw aluminum, giving it its optical illusion of a curved form like a staggering deck of cards. Also incorporated on one side of the sculpture are floor-to-ceiling glass walls, offering visitors panoramic views of the pulp mill, river and surrounding forest.

"The Twist constitutes a tectonic enigma," says Ingels. "As the bridge connects the two riverbanks—a mountain slope and flat forest—it rotates 90 degrees forming a warped, ruled surface. Two pure functional forms united by complex curvature.

“Wherever you look, you see arches and curves, Fibonacci spirals and saddle shapes, but when you look closer you realize that everything is created from straight lines—straight sheets of aluminum, straight boards of wood. An expressive organic sculpture composed of rational repetitive elements."

Located within the structure are three galleries: a northern wide-set gallery offering panoramic views, the sculptural middle offering a mid-twisted area illuminated by a thin skylight and a taller, darker gallery with no natural light on the southern end. The entire interior is finished in white with white-painted slats of douglas fir.

Additionally, a separate glass stairway leads to the museum’s basement area where the building’s aluminum underside works as a ceiling with the surrounding area lined with concrete and glass to serve as extra viewing areas of the river and also includes restroom facilities.

"The Twist has been an extremely complex building to construct, yet the result is simple and striking," said BIG's David Zahle.

"From an array of straight elements, the museum was constructed in an industrial manner as both a piece of infrastructure and as a building reflecting its natural surroundings. As you approach The Twist, you start to notice the museum reflecting the trees, the hills and the water below, constantly glimmering and changing its appearance in dialogue with nature."

Currently, The Twist is featuring its first exhibit, Hodgkin and Creed—Inside Out, which is slated to run through Nov. 17. Visitors at the park may also view works by various international artists such as Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson, Lynda Benglis Yayoi Kusama, Jeppe Hein and Fernando Botero, among others.


Tagged categories: Aluminum; Architecture; Asia Pacific; Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG); Bridges; Bridges; Completed projects; Design; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Infrastructure; Infrastructure; Latin America; Museums; Museums; North America; Program/Project Management; Z-Continents

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